The Renaissance literature was about man and everything connected with man (humanism) and it was written in the languages of the common people. Rise and growth of new languages and their literature like Italian, English, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish. Machiavelli was the great political writer of Italy and his work The Prince written in Italian served as guide for the rulers. Dante’s Divine Comedy is an epic poem and reveals human love, love of the country and a desire for a free and united Italian nation. The works of Petrarch who has been called the Father of Humanism made Italy supreme in Renaissance literature. They dealt with the economic, social and political aspects of man’s life. Thomas Moore wrote Utopia in Latin and it contained the criticism of the society and govt of the day.Shakespeare, Ben Johnson and Marlowe were the renowned dramatists. Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible into German helped to develop that language.
The greatest Renaissance scholar of Holland was Erasmus the author of The Praise of Folly in which he condemned the evils of the church and the atrocities of the clergymen. In Spain the important literary figures were Cervantes author of Don Quixote and Lope De Vega. The Portuguese writer Camoens described the wonderful voyages of Vasco-De Gama in his epic Lusiads.There was also tendency to break away from Latin and Greek and to seek expression in the vernacular languages. This was a significant step not only in the bringing about the development of national literature but also in aiding the development of national political institutions.